One of the distressing things about winter, along with fewer daylight hours and the cold, is static electricity. This annoying occurrence causes clothes to stick to each other and us, as well as painful shocks when touching certain objects.
What is Static Electricity?
Static is the buildup of an electrical charge on the surface of another object. As the charge moves from one object to another, it releases electricity, producing a shock. It is directly affected by humidity.
Static increases when the air gets cold and humidity drops. To stay warm in your home, you turn up the heat, further adding to a decrease in humidity and increasing static.
While static can be annoying and sometimes painful, there are some simple things you can do to reduce it.
Probably the most important tip is to add water back to the air circulating in your home. This can be done in a few ways. First, a humidifier can be used to produce a continuous stream of moisture. This can be a unit placed in the room you are in or a humidification unit added to your home’s heater.
If you don’t have a humidifier, you can place a pot of water on the stove and let it evaporate, adding moisture to the air. This can be particularly nice if you also add things that smell good – like evergreen sprigs or a drop or two of essential oils like lavender. Just be sure not to let the pot get dry. It’s a good idea to set an alarm so you can move freely away from the stove.
Use Fabric Softener
Another major source of static electricity is fabric – whether it is your clothing, your upholstery, or your carpet. Dryer sheets can go a long way to reduce static in these instances. While you can’t get your furniture in your dryer, you can rub a dryer sheet over the surface of the upholstery.
For your carpet, you can either use liquid fabric softener or static elimination sprays. If you use liquid fabric softener, dilute with water and spray just a little on the carpet – you don’t need to soak the surface to get a good result.
For reducing static in your clothing, try wearing natural fabrics, such as cotton. Anything synthetic will build up a charge faster, and therefore create the shock when you touch something.
Carry Something Metal
To stop the dreaded shock when touching the doorknob – touch it with something metal first, essentially grounding yourself. This can be a key, a thimble, or a safety pin that you keep with you for just this purpose.
And finally, keeping your floors tidy and clean through vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping can also help reduce static electricity by reducing the amount of dust. The Cleaning Authority is here to help with that – get an estimate today.